It’s a fact! We have our first American cookbook author on our site: Megan Gordon. Our new Kitchen Table Friend is also food blogger and the owner of the popular Seattle-based granola brand Marge Granola. She shares with us one of the beautiful recipes from her latest cookbook. We are honored and happy to have her.
I met Megan last summer at a farmers’ market in Seattle, where she was selling her delicious granola. I picked up her book Whole-Grain Mornings, which is all about good and healthy breakfasts, and we started talking. About good food, about writing cookbooks and about food blogging, as Megan also has a lovely food blog: A Sweet Spoonful. I asked her if she would like to make a contribution to our Friends section and her response was very enthusiastic. We were allowed to select a recipe from her cookbook and we picked this Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Spread. A Nutella-like spread, but this one, of course, is so much better and healthier! Megan: “There are many recipes for chocolate hazelnut spread out there, but I love this one for its simplicity: no melting chocolate, no heating milk, no straining or sifting. While it may seem like a doubtful choice in the quest to eat well in the mornings, this version is comparatively low in sugar and doesn’t contain any of the fillers and fluff common in some store-bought brands.” This recipe is a valuable addition to our site and we will surely make it often. Thanks, Megan!
Makes 3⁄4 cup
Action Time: 10 minutes
Morning Notes: This is the time to use your very best cocoa powder—you’ll taste the difference.
1 cup/120 g hazelnuts, toasted and skinned and cooled*
1⁄4 cup/25 g unsweetened dark cocoa powder (I use Valrhona)
1⁄2 cup/50 g confectioners’ sugar
3⁄4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1⁄4 tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp safflower or canola oil
Extra: food processor
1. In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, process the hazelnuts until they become a smooth butter, about 3 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary.
2. Add the cocoa powder, sugar, vanilla, salt, and oil and continue processing until creamy, 1 minute or so.
3. Transfer to an airtight container or your favorite jar. Refrigerated, it will keep for 4 to 6 weeks. If after sitting the spread becomes firmer than you’d like, simply stir in a little more oil, 1⁄2 teaspoon at a time, until the desired consistency. If it remains looser than you’d like, simply stir in more confectioners’ sugar, 1 teaspoon at a time.
When you buy hazelnuts at the store, they have a thin, dark skin on them that is perfectly fine to eat, but many recipes will ask that you remove the skins because they can impart a slightly bitter flavor and their texture is often undesired. You can purchase hazelnuts that have already been toasted and, but to do so yourself is simple: Place the hazelnuts on a small baking sheet. Toast for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and scoop immediately onto a clean kitchen towel. Fold up the towel so the nuts are completely covered, and use a quick back-and-forth motion to create friction inside the towel and ease the skins off. Repeat as necessary. Don’t aim for perfection here—getting the majority of the skins removed is usually just fine.
Reprinted with permission from Whole-Grain Mornings: New Breakfast Recipes to Span the Seasons by Megan Gordon (Ten Speed Press, © 2013). Photo Credit: Clare Barboza (Book Cover and Chocolate Hazelnut Spread) and Leela Cyd (Megan in kitchen).